Knowledge Base

How can I quickly prep a spokesperson prior to a media interview?

Here's a quick primer on bridging, flagging and other media dos and don'ts.

Do you need to quickly train a spokesperson prior to a media interview? Below are some quick tips to pass along. If at all possible, schedule a phone call with your spokesperson to brief them on the announcement, describe the reporter’s background, describe what types of questions the reporter will likely ask, and run through these tips. End the conversation by asking if they have any other questions or concerns, and reassure them that they will do an outstanding job.

Media Interview Dos and Donts

Dos:

  • As a company spokesperson, anything you say during interviews, off-site meetings or post on social media (even your personal account) can be attributed back to your name and Pivot3 as a whole.
  • Despite what a reporter might tell you, nothing is “off the record” or “just for background”- everything you say can be used publicly.
  • All comments made must be based on fact.
  • Any issues with media conversations can only be minimized or corrected if they are made known. If you feel there might have been an interaction or comment made that may need any sort of damage control, please let the Idea Grove team know immediately.

Don’ts:

  • Never discuss any CEO strategies, market share, sales or profits for any of Pivot3’s customers, partners, competitors, suppliers, retailers or business partners.
  • Never disparage the competition, their executives, their products or their services.
  • Never divulge confidential corporate information. Likewise, do not comment on CEO business trips, plans or meetings.
  • Never speak about sensitive topics such as politics, culture, religion, or race. Likewise, never comment on government policies, whether directly or indirectly.
  • Never comment on issues outside of your field of work or expertise.
  • Never share any information or statistics with media or analysts that you can’t substantiate.
  • Never agree with the interviewer’s comment or statistic unless you are absolutely certain that it is factually correct and something that supports the company’s public image.

Bridging and Flagging to Stay in Control During an Interview

Bridging Techniques:

  • When approached with a question that is off topic or sensitive, acknowledge it, but pivot to a key message with the following bridging statements:
  • What we hear from our customers most often is…
  • I think I can best answer that by discussing…
  • I don’t know about that but what I can tell you is…
  • Let me put that in perspective…
  • Another way to look at that is…
  • The real issue here is…

Flagging Techniques:

  • Flagging techniques signal to the reporter that the information you’re about to share is important, which helps the conversation focused on key messages. Examples include:
  • The most important thing to remember is…
  • Let me make one thing perfectly clear…
  • I’ve talked about many issues today. It boils down to these three things…